Emergency grants explained

Sutton+Hall%2C+the+home+of+Student+Financial+Services

John Corley For the Easterner

Sutton Hall, the home of Student Financial Services

By Aaron Hutchinson, Reporter

Eligible EWU students will receive emergency grants from the financial aid office as part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).

HEERF, which provides money to higher education institutions experiencing extreme financial distress in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, is part of the Federal Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2.2 trillion stimulus package enacted by Congress to offset the economic impact of COVID-19. 

How much money did EWU receive?

EWU has received a total of $4,993,150 from HEERF to distribute to students. The allocation of funds was determined by the U.S. Department of Education and based on the number of Pell-Grant eligible students and total enrollment. 

Who is eligible?

Eligible students are full-time and part-time degree-seeking students who have filed for and are eligible to receive federal Title IV funding and are in good academic standing. Full-time students will be given first priority and students enrolled at least part-time will receive second priority.

How much money will students get?

EWU will distribute the money as grants in amounts from $500 to $1000, based on financial need. The money will not need to be repaid and can be used to pay for expenses like housing, food, course materials, childcare and other cost-of-attendance related expenses. 

What do students need to do to get a grant?

Eligible students do not need to do anything. The financial aid office will determine eligibility and distribute funds directly to students. Students who have signed up for direct deposit will have the money transferred into their accounts and checks will be sent to other students.

When will students get the grants?

The financial aid office has already distributed payments to 4,583 students and most grants should be issued by May 22. Students can see if they received a grant on their EWU student account page and will also receive an email when the grant is issued. 

What if a student has not applied for FASFA? What if a student is not eligible for Title IV funding?

Students who have not applied for FASFA will not be able to receive a grant for the spring quarter but are still eligible to apply for fall quarter funding and grants. EWU is exploring ways to help students who are not eligible to apply for FASFA and encourages students in this position to contact the financial aid office or the Student Care Team for more information.

All of the information for this article was gathered from conversations with Bruce DeFrates, director of financial aid and scholarships at EWU and https://www.ewu.edu/coronavirus/cares-act/